There’s an age-old question that asks people to ponder, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” The same perplexing question can be applied to your online content posts.

If you write a blog post, but no one reads it or shares it, does it really exist? Now, we realize that obviously the content does exist, but the question is more one of value. If your blogs posts aren’t being viewed, clicked, and shared by readers, the success of those posts and value of the content is questionable. Here’s 7 key elements to consider as you’re preparing your next blog post.

Clear Headline

The headline you use for your blog might be the single most important facet of a post. When readers are searching for content online, search results feature the headline prominently. Your headline needs to make it clear what the reader stands to gain from reading your post. For an example, look no further than the headline of this blog. There’s no fantastical promises. Instead, it’s straight to the point in telling you that you’ll be reading about key elements to a successful blog.

Headlines should never be misleading if you want to gain continued readership, and it is estimated you have about five seconds to capture a reader’s attention and entice them to read the piece in question.

Smart Introduction

From a structural standpoint, the introduction is the next big key for any blog post. This is your small moment in time to convince readers that your post is worth reading. The headline drew them in, now the introduction should build upon their initial curiosity and entice them to continue reading the entire post. It helps to be clear and to the point, highlighting for the reader what they’ll learn from continuing to read your content.

Use Solid Structure

Successful blog posts have a solid structure that breaks up content for the reader, but does so without losing focus on the message at hand. One giant block of text is hard on the eye and often results in the reader giving up. Successful blog posts have subheadings for different topics/points, and make use of bulleted/numbered lists to keep content shorter in length while also being easier to digest.

Bullet points are particularly important. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, bullet points not only attract the reader’s eye, they make it easier to skim through content for relevant information, while also making it easier to understand complex concepts.

Make Sure You Have a Goal

Every blog post you put online should have a goal with the content. What message are you trying to convey to the reader? Or, what concept are you trying to help them learn more about? Maybe your overarching goal is to establish your voice as one of authority and encourage readers to contact you. In this case, your Call to Action (CTA) should be clear and concise. It should also relate to the content of the post and be found in more than one location. 

Use Media Wisely

Blog posts have evolved over time from largely text-based to a combination of text and media to help convey a concise message. Using photos, infographics, and other forms of media can help drive home your message, but they have to be used right to be effective. Make sure all visuals are clear and high quality, avoid stock photos and ensure that the media is relatable to the content.

A Good Close Matters

The final structural element to a successful blog is your close. Does the blog just end on your final point, or do you have a follow-up paragraph that wraps up the entirety of the piece for readers? A good closing paragraph summarizes the points from the post and entices readers to take an action, whether that’s commenting, liking, or sharing your post. The closing paragraph is your chance to encourage engagement.

Proper SEO Use

Your blog is great entry point for your business as it draws in online researchers from Google search pages. Working with an SEO expert to determine demand and opportunity for your post, and ultimately help it land higher on search results can help your content land in front of more eyeballs and bring more customers into your business in the long run.

Blog posts aren’t simply a matter of typing up content and hitting “post” with a hope that it will work. Using these key elements you can position each blog post to be successful in attracting readers and generating leads. If you’re serious about your digital marketing strategy and want to get to the next level, Engauge can help. Simply click here to schedule a free digital marketing strategy audit with our team at Engauge.